A Tasting of Chocolate & Caramel
I'm not much of a sweets person. I rarely buy, make or eat desserts. Instead craving for a plate of cheese or more savory bites to end the meal. But I've somehow gathered a small loot of sweets in my room. After a night of cooking and eating I still had some energy left and so presented a mini chocolate and caramel tasting.
The first chocolate (from the left) is Barcelona-based Chocovic's Unique Origin Ocumare bar. It contains 71% cocoa solids from the criollo variety of cocoa plant from Venezuela. The criollo variety is prized for its distinctive and complex flavors. A delicious dark chocolate. For more expertly details read Candy Blog's review.
I love Vosges chocolates! The flavors Katrina Markoff, the owner/chocolatier, comes up with is brilliant. The Woolloomooloo Bar, the latest flavor to hit my buds, contains roasted and salted macadamia nuts, Indonesian coconut, hemp seeds and dark milk chocolate. I always like some nuttiness in my chocolate but the hemp seeds and coconut also provided an additional layer of interesting texture. I'm partial to dark chocolate but I'm loving on the nice balance in dark milk chocolate.
The Barcelona Bar is my favorite from the Vosges chocolate bar collection. It has hickory smoked almonds, fleur de sel gray sea salt and dark milk chocolate. It sounds amazing and it tastes amazing. The combination of the smoked nutty almonds, the mellow saltiness and the perfectly balanced dark milk chocolate is pretty mindblowing. I'll retaste a small square of this tonight just to make sure I'm right about the level of its mindblowingness.
Kudos to Vosges for moving towards becoming a greener company by using organic ingredients, less wasteful packaging, recycled paperboards, and reducing energy use and implementing a recycling program at the office!
Next up was Little Flower Candy Co's Sea Salt Caramels. Christine Moore, the candy maker, was a pastry chef working in Los Angeles who left her job to have her baby five years ago. Bored at home she began making candy and now her company sells to 13 stores! Her candies do not contain hydrogenated oils, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Yay! And this Sea Salt Caramel is my favorite. She also makes beautiful marshmallows that I have yet to try.
Finally we ended with Recchiuti's Fleur de Sel Caramels. Recchuiti Confections is an artisan company based in San Francisco. Their store is one of the pleasureable stops I made within the Ferry Building and yes this is the same box I got back in January! I was kind of hoarding them and then completely forgot about them. Not much of a looker as the chocolate covering over the caramel is broken on every little square but the tast is divine. The fleur de sel comes into play more as the caramel melts away. I try not to bite during the latter part of my consumption but sometimes it's hard. I crave crunching the delicious salt with the last bit of the caramel.
This was a nice sweets session with quality products using quality ingredients. But we needed something to balance all the sweet richness. We ended with some of Chasaengwon's Gamnong Green Tea.
"In the rainfall for seeding (late April), when the nature begins to give off fresh energy, this tea is made of fresh tea sprouts that are picked one by one with all heart. It has gentle taste, neat and clean color, and excellent aroma." Yummy.